There’s more to transcription than transforming recorded words into digital text files. Check out the FAQs before you upload a file, so you’ll know which options best meet your needs.

Pricing and Service Options

1. What are your rates?

To estimate the cost for a specific file, click Estimate Your Project or Upload Files. Just fill in the length of your recording, the number of speakers and your required turnaround time. And, consider including additional features, such as time code insertion and verbatim transcription, that can speed up your production and post production efforts.

2. What’s the difference between a ‘verbatim’ and a ‘clean read’ transcript?

A verbatim transcript captures the speaker’s words exactly as she said them, with no paraphrasing. It’s a word-for-word transcription, including false starts and fillers, (such as um, ah, you know), that individuals often utter. Most filmmakers prefer this style of transcript, since it’s much easier to spot phrases and sentences that can actually be used in a project.

Clean read transcripts, which are ideal for other uses, such as business-related recordings, omit fillers and false starts, correct minor grammatical errors and may include minor paraphrasing to increase readability.

Example of a verbatim transcript of an actual interview, September 18, 2014:

Yeah. Let me tell you something about that’s that surprisingly is not not challenging for me. I mean, in the moment it can I can do like that, but a lot of friends when I tell them about the things I do, they say, yeah, but what about the grisly parts? And I’m I don’t know. That’s an oddball thing. I mean, I can feel sad and touched, and I’m awfully empathic. I empathy comes out, but um grisly part doesn’t frighten me.

Oh, I think most people are terribly uncomfortable with dead bodies. I think I think we TIPs are a bit unusual in that we’re not frightened or not unnerved by that. I think the great majority of people would be very nervous to touch a dead person, particularly one they didn’t know or something like that.

3. What file formats can you work with? Special considerations for HD recordings?

We work with most video file formats, including .mov, .MPEG, .wmv, .avi, and .flv files. However, if you’re recording high definition video, we highly recommend that you convert your file to an audio only format, such as MP3, before uploading, since even a few minutes of HD creates a huge file that can take forever to upload and download. Please contact us if you have questions or special requirements.

Audio file formats we can transcribe:
AAC, AIFC (compressed AIFF), AIFF, AU, CAF (Apple Core Audio Format), DCT, FLAC, OGG, M4A, MP2, MP3, MPC, PCM, QCP, WAV, WMA

Video file formats we can work with when developing captions and subtitles:

4. How long will it take?

Our standard turnaround time, with no extra fee, is 3 to 5 days. And 2 business days or less for interviews shorter than 60 minutes. We also provide rush (2 business days), 24 hour and same day services. Go to  Estimate Your Project to estimate the cost for extra fast delivery times. Or call us at 800-608-3055.

5. What can I do to get the fastest possible turnaround?

  • If you don’t need to have interviewer’s questions transcribed, leave the “Transcribe questions?” box unchecked on Estimate Your Project calculator.
  • Provide us with high quality files, recorded at sufficient volume for our transcriptionists to easily hear and decode the speakers’ words.
  • If you have multiple speakers, identify them by name, in the order in which they speak.
  • Before uploading files, convert HD video files to an audio format, such as MP3.
  • Before submitting your order, double check that all the information on the Estimate Your Project and Upload forms are accurate.
  • Email or call us at 800-608-3055 and give us a heads up that your file is on the way. We’ll go over your order, answer any questions you have, and get one of our transcribers on it right away!

Time Code Insertion and Transcript Format

6. Can you include time codes on my transcription?

Yes, we can insert time code every 60 seconds, for a nominal charge. To estimate the cost, click on Estimate Your Project.

7. How are time codes inserted into the transcript?

Time codes appear in standard hour:minute:second:frame format, at the left margin. Our transcriptionists begin a new paragraph each time a time code is inserted, so that it’s easy for you to scan and identify potentially usable interview segments. See the example in #2, above.

Noisy backgrounds, discounts for multiple files

8. I recorded a interview  that involves multiple speakers, in a noisy environment? Can you transcribe these?

Yes, if the quality of the recordings is adequate: i.e., the recording is of sufficient volume, speakers’ words are intelligible, and background noises don’t drown out the speakers’ utterances. Our transcriptionists are highly skilled, but can only transcribe recordings they can hear and decode.

9. I’m preparing a budget for a documentary project that will include many interviews. Are there discounts for multiple files?

We know how important it is to have transcripts of all the interviews recorded during a project. Contact us and tell us what you need and when you need it. We want to work with you!

How it works

10. How do I upload my file?

Click Get Started or  Upload Files and follow the on-screen prompts. Note that your file will upload much faster if you convert it to an audio only MP3 file.

11. Who will transcribe my files?

Only live human beings, all living in the U.S., who are experts at transcribing interviews for diverse film, video and podcast projects. We do not use automated transcription programs, or algorithms, or non-U.S. based transcriptionists.

12. What format will my transcripts be in? How will I receive them?

We transform your audio files into Microsoft Word documents and send them to you via email or Dropbox.

Captions and subtitles – the fastest, simplest way to increase your viewing audience

13. What’s the difference between captions and subtitles?

Captions are all the words spoken in your video or podcast, plus a one- or two-word description of what’s happening on the screen. For example, [telephone ringing], [music playing]. They’re for viewers watching films in noisy or noise limited environments, viewers for whom English is not their native language, and viewers with a hearing loss, any of whom might not be able hear or understand a film’s audio tracks.

Subtitles are captions in another language. Think about the last foreign movie you watched. Those words at the bottom of the screen were subtitles: the film’s dialogue and voiceover in written text.

14. Why should I include captions  and subtitles  to videos that I post on YouTube and vimeo?

Search engines, such as Google, recognize words, not images. When you caption your video, search engines can index all the words in your video, not just the title and tags. The more complete the information about a video, the higher its rank by search engines, and the more likely potential viewers will find it.

15. Can you transcribe embedded files?

Yes, including files on YouTube, vimeo, and most other media sharing sites.

Do you have special requirements that we haven’t mentioned?

Ask us – we’re here to do everything possible to make your job easier – and leave you to do the important work producing and editing your project, on time and on budget.